Nonprofits are continually searching out ways to financially support their operations. This consists of looking for funding from both the private and public sectors.
It is estimated that in 2016 over $52 billion dollars in grant money was awarded by various independent, community, and operating foundations (Giving Statistics. www.CharityNavigator.org) to the nonprofit sector. Grants exist for any kind of nonprofit, including newly established organizations. Categories include arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, animal welfare and dozens more.
Stop and think for a moment….Does your organization fall into any of these categories? Has your organization taken advantage of the funding opportunities out there? Do you know how to get the grant writing process started? Are you familiar with the Foundation Center Directory?
Researching and applying for grants can certainly be an intimidating process. It is often difficult to know where to start. Organizations need to strategize on the best way to pursue grants. There are a variety of options, including professional grant writers, current staff or a volunteer. Marc Koenig suggests “finding a qualified writer who has experience writing grants, or invest in grant writing training for an existing staff member.”
While grant funding can certainly help an organization it should not be its’ only financial resource. Although grants cannot bear the full financial burden of your organization they can certainly contribute to positive outcomes. Grant funding can be used in variety of ways. It can be used for capital campaigns, operational costs, and endowment funding.
The Volunteer Center has a host of grant writing tools to assist in grant writing research and applications. VCMC equips nonprofits with access to the Foundation Directory Online. This tool provides users comprehensive information on grant makers and their grants. This includes a database of over 140,000 foundations, corporate giving programs, and grantmaking public charities in the U.S.
Additionally, there are trained volunteers ready to assist in the grant research process, including a professional grant writer. VCMC also sponsors grant writing workshops which will provide training on successful grant set up; composing collectively; relevance and completeness; evaluations; and reporting outcomes.
To learn more about nonprofit resources and workshops visit http://www.volunteercentermchenrycounty.org/resources.html.
Koenig, Marc. Don’t Start Your Nonprofit Grant Writing Until You Read This. Nonprofit Hub. http://nonprofithub.org/grant-writing/when-to-start-nonprofit-grant-writing. .
Charity Navigator. Giving Statistics. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=42#.UkMS7WQ__cI.
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Michelle has been a volunteer with the Volunteer Center of McHenry County for a year serving as a marketing volunteering.